For Everything There Is a Season
I will miss the thrill of the pennant races, the tension of a close game in the late innings, and the excitement of a big rally. More than those, however, I will miss the rhythm of the game. There is something comforting about listening to the middle innings of a game in June. Or watching on television the first pitch on a Sunday afternoon in mid summer. Falling asleep to the sounds of the announcers wrapping up the postgame show with the out-of-town scoreboard.
Baseball evokes memories of my childhood, and I had a very good childhood. From March to October, baseball dominated my days (and nights). Every evening after dinner, my father and I would play catch in the backyard. I would ride my bike to the park on the corner for my Little League games. Soothing voices from the radio--occasionally punctuated by the roar of the crowd--would lull me to sleep. I spent every dime on baseball cards.
Baseball echoes the rhythm of life. The innings pass with the regularity of sun and moon. The players come and go as friends appear in and disappear from our lives. Some things seem eternal, such as the announcer who has been with the club for more than 50 years, or the bright blue seats and green grass of the stadium. We hope those will never disappear, but, like a parent or spouse, they may someday pass into memory.
Other sports are a diversion, something to enjoy for a few hours at a time. Baseball has its own sense of time. It is a continuum. One game runs into the next, one season into another. Baseball isn’t like life, it is life.
For those of you who have teams in the playoffs, I say first, bite me. Second, enjoy. In a few days I’ll be able to join you and appreciate the climax of the baseball year. For now, I’m going to sulk a little bit more while my boys clean out their lockers and go home.